I'm A Mother And I Can't Do It All--And That's OK

There are a lot of stigmas surrounding motherhood. You have to feed your baby organic homemade food, breastfeed from day one until at least a year, dress them fashionably but not 'too adult', buy them the most eco-friendly and developmentally stimulating toys, decorate their nursery with $100+ wallpaper and chic, Etsy plushies, and care for them gingerly while still making time to stay fit, cook balanced meals, and be romantic with your husband, not to mention side obligations like work, school, holidays, family, etc...It's exhausting to even think about.

And the only thing that this serves to accomplish is making me feel depressed and guilty. Guilty for not being able to give my daughter everything I want for her. I want to have the perfect house, the perfect body, the perfect balanced life.

The inadequacy used to be okay. My weight always sort of bothered me, but not to the point where it completely preoccupied my mind, because I would think there would be time to fix it later. Now, realistically, I know that I'll most likely never have the time if I didn't make time for it pre-baby. Living in a crappy apartment with no dining table and nothing but junk in the cupboards didn't bother me because it was a temporary situation. The key to staving off depression was time.

But now that I have a daughter, the clock is ticking. She will never be eight months old again, and seven, six, five, four, three, two, one have already come and gone. I can't go back and photoshop her baby pictures to not show the mess in the corner or the unfinished wall. I can't rewind and try to nurse her beyond the six week mark. I can't take her fever from her and suffer through it myself, much as I might want to.

Most days, I feel like such a failure. So what I have to try to remember is that what's important to her is that she has a mommy and daddy who love her, that she has food in her tummy, and that she is warm and happy. She doesn't care what brand her britches are, or whether her toys are used, or whether her 'nursery' is actually just a crib tucked between the TV and my dresser.

Because the clock is ticking, I have to forget all of the 'shoulds' and the 'shouldn'ts' and try my damnedest to remember to tell her good morning even when I'm not feeling it, to climb in the bath with her despite my clothes, to rock her a little longer just for the feel of it even if it's two a.m. Because her feet are already poking out past my arms; she is overflowing in my embrace.

The clock won't reset when I get my life together, she will never be the little person she is now ever again, so I need to live it now.

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